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definite article

Posted: May 7th, 2018, 8:58 pm
by mmorris
In Koine is the definite article use ever indefinite? Ie. If they were just using it as a function marker.

A follow up to that. If an article is uses with a noun regarding an event, would that always be considered a one time event?

Thanks!

Re: definite article

Posted: May 8th, 2018, 11:13 am
by Jonathan Robie
The article is never indefinite. We don't call it a 'definite article' simply because there is no indefinite article to contrast it with, but it does function a lot like the English definite article - with exceptions and idiomatic uses, of course.

At a beginning level, I think Funk's description is good: Lesson 5: The Article
The Greek article was originally a demonstrative pronoun (it was so used in Homer). It was subsequently weakened to the status of article, then serving merely as a pointer. Cf. the article der in German, which serves as article, relative and demonstrative pronoun; in English that is both demonstrative and relative and is related to the article. In Greek the article is definite. Greek does not, strictly speaking, have an indefinite article (corresponding to a, an in English).

For the most part, the article functions in Greek as it does in English. A number of the idiomatic uses of the article in Greek can be learned by observation, and will occasion no difficulty.

Re: definite article

Posted: May 8th, 2018, 11:21 am
by Jonathan Robie
mmorris wrote:
May 7th, 2018, 8:58 pm
A follow up to that. If an article is uses with a noun regarding an event, would that always be considered a one time event?
No, there are other uses. For instance, consider how the article is used in Matthew 12:
Ἐν ἐκείνῳ τῷ καιρῷ ἐπορεύθη ὁ Ἰησοῦς τοῖς σάββασιν διὰ τῶν σπορίμων· οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ἐπείνασαν καὶ ἤρξαντο τίλλειν στάχυας καὶ ἐσθίειν. οἱ δὲ Φαρισαῖοι ἰδόντες εἶπαν αὐτῷ· Ἰδοὺ οἱ μαθηταί σου ποιοῦσιν ὃ οὐκ ἔξεστιν ποιεῖν ἐν σαββάτῳ. ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· Οὐκ ἀνέγνωτε τί ἐποίησεν Δαυὶδ ὅτε ἐπείνασεν καὶ οἱ μετ’ αὐτοῦ; πῶς εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τοὺς ἄρτους τῆς προθέσεως ἔφαγον, ὃ οὐκ ἐξὸν ἦν αὐτῷ φαγεῖν οὐδὲ τοῖς μετ’ αὐτοῦ, εἰ μὴ τοῖς ἱερεῦσιν μόνοις; ἢ οὐκ ἀνέγνωτε ἐν τῷ νόμῳ ὅτι τοῖς σάββασιν οἱ ἱερεῖς ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ τὸ σάββατον βεβηλοῦσιν καὶ ἀναίτιοί εἰσιν; λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν ὅτι τοῦ ἱεροῦ μεῖζόν ἐστιν ὧδε. εἰ δὲ ἐγνώκειτε τί ἐστιν· Ἔλεος θέλω καὶ οὐ θυσίαν, οὐκ ἂν κατεδικάσατε τοὺς ἀναιτίους. κύριος γάρ ἐστιν τοῦ σαββάτου ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου.

Καὶ μεταβὰς ἐκεῖθεν ἦλθεν εἰς τὴν συναγωγὴν αὐτῶν· καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄνθρωπος χεῖρα ἔχων ξηράν. καὶ ἐπηρώτησαν αὐτὸν λέγοντες· Εἰ ἔξεστι τοῖς σάββασιν θεραπεύειν; ἵνα κατηγορήσωσιν αὐτοῦ. ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· Τίς ἔσται ἐξ ὑμῶν ἄνθρωπος ὃς ἕξει πρόβατον ἕν, καὶ ἐὰν ἐμπέσῃ τοῦτο τοῖς σάββασιν εἰς βόθυνον, οὐχὶ κρατήσει αὐτὸ καὶ ἐγερεῖ; πόσῳ οὖν διαφέρει ἄνθρωπος προβάτου. ὥστε ἔξεστιν τοῖς σάββασιν καλῶς ποιεῖν. τότε λέγει τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ· Ἔκτεινόν σου τὴν χεῖρα· καὶ ἐξέτεινεν, καὶ ἀπεκατεστάθη ὑγιὴς ὡς ἡ ἄλλη. ἐξελθόντες δὲ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι συμβούλιον ἔλαβον κατ’ αὐτοῦ ὅπως αὐτὸν ἀπολέσωσιν.
But here's something interesting - English translations regularly render this kind of construction in Greek using the article in English, e.g. "on the Sabbath".

There are definitely times that Greek uses the article where we do not. For instance, we never say "Then the Jesus said" in English. Those are the times that we have to explain why Greek is using an article when English wouldn't.

Re: definite article

Posted: May 8th, 2018, 3:12 pm
by mmorris
Thanks for the info!

Re: definite article

Posted: May 8th, 2018, 4:26 pm
by MAubrey
Jonathan Robie wrote:
May 8th, 2018, 11:13 am
The article is never indefinite. We don't call it a 'definite article' simply because there is no indefinite article
Well...you don't...

:D